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Review of Long Beach International Marathon/Half/5K by

Posted by: on October, 14 2013

This is my review for the Long Beach International Half Marathon on October 13, 2013. Here is a little side story to registering for this race, when I originally signed up for this run, I did not care to look at my calendar because I thought of two things, it was the last of 3 races for the 2013 Beach Cities Challenge (so I would get the huge medal) and It’s Long Beach, a mostly flat run through the streets and beach path, with a few overpasses here and there. But…it took me about a month after registering to realize that I had already signed up for a 70.3 triathlon in following weekend! Even though I considered this half more of a training run for next week’s 70.3 triathlon, I still enjoyed the course and would definitely love to run it again in the future.
Pre-Race: The pre-race festivities and packet pick up were at the Long Beach Convention Center. It was pretty easy to enter, pick up my packet, and explore the vendors. I picked up all of my racing gels, and gu’s for Sunday, as well as the week after. I was even lucky enough to win a Newton racing hat from one of the vendors.
Course: Long Beach is a mostly flat course, with a few inclines over “overpasses”, and a bridge over the harbor. The last overpass/hill is around mile 5-6, and then it is mostly flat throughout the remainder of the course. Once you cross back over the harbor, you along the beach path to the Bayshore/Naples area, and make the final turn back around Mile 10 towards the Aquarium and the Convention Center. There is a slight uphill coming off of the beach path, and that kind of caught me by surprise. But I was able to handle it, and make my way to the finish line, and cross the finish line with a respectable time (1:52).
Post-Race: There always seems to be a problem at the Long Beach Half of runners bottle necking after crossing the line, and it was no different this year. It seemed that there was no one directing the traffic once the runners got past finish line, picked up their medal, and their post race foodbag (which was exceptional by the way). All the runners want to do after a long race is stretch their legs out, and get some “breathing room”, and not stand in a long line of people with their legs tightening up. Aside from that, the post race festivities were good. There was good live music, and a good beer garden (even though the finishers were allowed only one beer).
Overall, I give this event an A. It was a great event this year, and I hope to be back in 2014!
Follow all of my racing exploits on Twitter: @DavefromPhilly